Privacy Changes Create Challenges for Google Ads Advertisers

Solutions Ahead Privacy Forward Marketing

Privacy challenges and changes are causing a paradigm shift in advertising. Not only is Google Ads impacted but all online advertising platforms including Microsoft Advertising, AdRoll, and others.

This is a complex topic, but I will work to make it easy to understand. Regulations and expectations have changed. The Chrome browser will be retiring the use of third party cookies in 2022. Many browsers like Firefox and Microsoft Edge are already providing users expanded privacy protection. With Google serving nearly 80% of digital advertising, it and the Google Ad platform will be hurt the most by these new privacy initiatives.

The bottom line is that third party cookies which are being degraded drive conversions as a user travels the web. Knowing more about you and what you share with Google (via cookies) and what browsers record about your activities online – drive conversions for advertisers. Take that away and advertisers will be less relevant to your needs. When advertisers struggle to make conversions and drive sales, Google is impacted as advertising dollars are moved to other advertising products.

81% of internet users this year became more concerned about privacy and personal data. 59% of internet users feel that their privacy is not sufficiently protected by the companies that they do business with. (From the Google Partner seminar on Planning for Privacy-Safe Growth.)

The challenges are real. Google has introduced an initiative to be used in Chrome and is hoping other browsers will embrace it. It is called FLoC Federated Learning of Cohorts. This initiative plans to anonymize data and then group users into clusters which it will use as audiences for ad serving. Already, Microsoft Edge and possibly even Firefox have said they will block FLoC tracking.

The difficulties are real for businesses advertising digitally. With less direct information, that was previously delivered by third party cookie tracking, the less relevant ads will be. Remarketing lists will be smaller as many users will not be able to be tracked.  Fewer conversions will be recorded in the Google Ads control panel to be used by the bidding algorithms to adjust bids to deliver optimized results. There will be less personalization and fewer personalized ad served to you after you have done a recent search for a product.  Google will have limited ability to create audience lists that will be meaningful that can drive additional conversions and sales. The list goes on.

These privacy changes are great for consumers, but for advertisers will require a shift in approach to reach relevant audiences to promote their products and services in a new privacy-safe way.

The key to this new world is the use of first party data. Here are my recommendations.

If you are not collecting email address for interaction with clients through form fills or purchases, you should plan on implementing that right away.

If you are not collecting client emails on a spreadsheet for marketing use, start now. If you are using customer relationship management software you should be downloading and then exporting your properly formatted customer list into Google Ads every six months (Google’s recommendation).

All businesses should be using Customer Match in Google Ads and then layer this audience over all campaigns. This first party data will help the modeling that Google will be doing in your account to help your advertising be more productive.

Review your Google Ads and Google Analytics tags – Google recommends use of the global site tag and an  upgrade to Google Analytics 4. You may want to consider moving to Tag Manager as Consent Mode will be turned on in the USA in the very near future. Add the  Google Tag Assistant to Chrome as an app then visit your website to see what tracking code version you are using now. You may need an updated.

Without data, Google expects to see conversions recorded in Google Ads decline. With data the hit may only be 5% or so. Google has stated that what data it cannot get from first party information, it will model. The less modeling the better.

It is important to know that even with these changes, your website is not impacted or your sales just your advertising. You still get the conversions it is just that the data on the sale or form fill no longer flows to Google Ads as it has before. With bidding algorithms using conversion/lead data to make bidding decisions it simply means that these tools become less effective in controlling costs and bidding effectively.

Overall, I want to express that I am not worried by these changes. In many cases I feel that the increased level of data protection is a good thing for the end user. What we want to do is to help all our advertiser embrace this new privacy environment and work to use that tools that are available to control the impact on their business.

We will be reaching out to our clients with an action plan to help address a number of these changes. Many of our clients have already been approached with a request to refresh customer match lists. More will be contacted in the near future to help them create customer match lists for the first time.

Our recommendation is to simply start by reviewing are you keeping a list of email address for customers and prospects. Can you offer a special download and get an email address in return to start building your first party data list? That is a great place to start.

Our team will guide you through the process in the month ahead with suggestions on steps you can take to have a privacy forward focus for the future.

For more information about McCord Web Services, a Google Partner, please visit our website to learn more about our mission and our services.

Update: as of late 6/24/21 Google announced that is delaying the Chrome cookie update until late 2023 due to advertiser concerns in embracing the new tracking technologies.

Share

What Does Google Have Planned for 2021?

Look to the Future

What does Google have planned for Google Ads and marketing in 2021?

You will be amazed…

Here are some of the important nuggets from the recent Google Livestream.

Insights Page
A new page in the Google Ads Control Panel helps you to know what is trending in the very near future. For one client who sells scientific equipment Google surfaced that after July 11th lab glassware and centrifuges would have increased activity. We set up a centrifuge campaign to leverage that information into sales for this client. We’ll be looking for ways for each of our clients to leverage this information that Google is revealing for the first time in advertiser accounts as part of their new transparency into trends they see coming.

Performance Max
This is a new campaign type that maximizes performance across all Google inventory. It offers rich insights into automation. It is currently in beta but due to roll out late 2021. It features advanced automation. Testers so far have had significantly improved lead performance. We’ll let you know when we see it and test it in client accounts.

Privacy Changes
This year the use of 3rd party cookies will be stopped. Google has decided to embrace an ad serving model that protect privacy and offers choice. Thanks to Apple and the GDPR we will see broad and striking changes this year in regard to an individual’s privacy and how ads will be served. This is a significant change.

Google has given significant advice to Google Partners on how to help customers move into this privacy first world and yet still achieve great results with targeted advertising. We will do a separate blog post on these recommendations and contact all our clients to offer assistance to help them embrace these new changes.

Future of Measurement
Without 3rd party cookies on which Google Analytics is based, measurement will now be based on 1st party data, sitewide tagging, and then fill in the gaps with modeling.

The Google Tag Manager now has additional features enabled called consent mode that recovers 70% of the customer journey. New capabilities will be rolled out this year as well.

Google Analytics will now offer more insights for the complete customer journey in a privacy safe method. The new advertiser experience in Analytics will provide deeper insights into website traffic and ad performance. Attribution models will now include YouTube and Display.

Automation
The key take away is that automation provides performance, opportunity, and control. Google is recommending the use of responsive search ads with broad match keywords, and smart bidding to boost leads by nearly 20%. Excellent rated ad text plus 4 extensions appearsto be the winning combination. for success.

The key for account management is to steer these automation tools, improve account automation, and leverage insights.

eCommerce
The future looks bright for ecommerce with a new and significant relationship between Shopify, Shop Pay, and Google. Success appears to be tied to curated, immersive experiences on your website with easy integration of Shopify stores into the Google Shopping platform and the Merchant Center.

Google is introducing a Deals tab on Google.com to help highlight your promotions. New also is Google’s integration with your Loyalty Program.

Conclusion
We don’t have details on a number of these new features and enhancements, but they are coming and they are exciting.

For more information about who we are and what we do, as Google Partners, we invite you to visit our website and dig deeper into how we can help you improve your online visibility and improve your marketing’s value to growing your business.

Share

We Are Google Partners

Google has just awarded us early status of the new Google Partner program.

Dear valued partner,

Congratulations on meeting the new Google Partner requirements.

As a part of the wide variety of benefits available to you across Education & InsightsAccess & Support, and Recognition & Rewards, you now have access to the new Google Partner badge. The Partner badge shows that you have the latest Google Ads expertise, while helping you stand out to clients and the industry.

 

Click to verify our Google Partner status.



Find out more about our qualifications now. 

Share

Feedburner Subscription to Our Posts by Email is Gone

Google has decided to drop the receive blog posts by email using Feedburner. As a result, we have migrated our blog post by email subscriber list to MailChimp.

Each time we write a blog, you will receive an email from Mail Chimp that will continue our blog post content. If you do not receive a copy of this announcement blog post, please take a moment to add your email in the Subscribe box on the right.

We want you to stay up to date with our news. If you have any issues subscribing, just send me, Nancy McCord, a contact form note and I will add you manually to our new MailChimp list.

We look forward to keeping you up to date.

Share

Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA)

December 31, 2022 is When Virginia's Privacy Law Takes Effect.

Second in the nation behind California to enact online privacy regulation, Virginia’s new law takes effect on January 1, 2023.

Similar to the law in California that is again similar in itself to the more stringent privacy regulations in the European Union, Virginia has new privacy rules now too.

What does this mean for US and Virginia-based businesses and those selling in Virginia?

First and foremost, if you do not have cookie notifications on your website, now is the time to implement this scripting. There are many online services that provide the scripts to meet the European Unions’ strict rules and can be used to meet both California and Virginia’s regulations. We use cookie-script.com for our privacy adherence needs.

For Virginia businesses and those that do business in Virginia, here’s what you need to know about this recently passed act.

First you must be in compliance by January 1, 2023.

“Virginia’s legislation has a carve-out for information collected in the employment context, whereas California’s law applies to some employment data.” Read the full article.

The CDPA applies to the following business types:

• Those that control or process the personal data of at least 100,000 consumers.

• Those that process the personal data of at least 25,000 consumers and derive more than 50 percent of their gross revenue from selling personal data.

Make sure to check this article for a number of exemptions. Virginia has made its law less stringent than California’s privacy law, but make sure you know what is covered and not covered.

What Are Your Rights in this New Law?

“Virginia’s law was modeled after California’s laws and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. Virginia’s law provides expansive consumer privacy rights, such as the right to access, right of rectification, right to delete, right to opt out, right of portability and right against automatic decision-making. The act includes a broad definition of “personal information,” a “sensitive data” category, and data-protection assessment requirements for businesses that control the data.”

“Consumers don’t have the right to bring a private lawsuit for violations of the act. Instead, the Virginia attorney general’s office will enforce the law. Entities will have the opportunity to cure violations or face a fine of $7,500 per violation.” Read more.

Most people expect other states to follow with restrictions similar to Virginia’s or California’s.

Our Recommendation

With privacy being in the forefront of everyone’s mind right now, it is time to look at adding a privacy statement and cookie setting acknowledgement script on your website.

When the EU rolled out it’s privacy regulation several years ago, many businesses opted to not update their site for cookie approval as they felt they were exempt (erroneously) by not selling services or products in the European Union. Now with expansion of similar regulations to California and Virginia, it is time to implement technology to be in compliance this year and at the minimum by December 31, 2022.

 

 

Share